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Data: The New Must-Have Accessory for Retail Giants

Seems like every week a major retailer is announcing they have a DSP or a data deal. Last week Kroger announce they are starting a private marketplace for shopper data. But they are all going about it a bit differently.

If you do not know these terms: A DSP is a demand-side-platform that's basically an online marketplace that marries digital ad inventory with data sets in real time to laser target digital media buys. PMP stands for private marketplace, it's essentially selling data that's been organized into targeted sets, and the data is generally first party and premium. PMPs get sold directly to agencies or to DSPs as pre-negotiated deals. It's all very thrilling - said no one except those making millions from data deals.

Amazon created their own DSP which makes sense because many of the products they carry are from third party sellers who are encouraged to spend more to promote their goods. Walmart created a DSP that's basically built on the TradeDesk chassis.

Target created Roundel which is a data that can be used on a variety of DSPs. This is what Kroger is also doing. The major difference is that a PMP deal can be negotiated directly, but may also be available as a pre-negotiated deal inside a DSP.

To say these data deals will make these businesses huge incremental revenue is an understatement. The death of cookies is leading to huge gains for these companies.

As an example, imagine I am a CPG company that sells gluten-free bread mix and I wanted to promote my product to the most relevant audience.

Currently my DSP has gluten-free in-market data sets from Clickology, Datonics, Epsilon, NinthDecimal, Oracle, & Infogroup. These are all big data providers who create these massive third party data sets from a bunch of different methodologies. A lot of the methodologies used to create these sets uses third party data. With that going away, these data sets will be more volatile and - eventually - obsolete. (No doubt these companies are creating replacement solutions.)

These new retail-owned DSPs and PMPs are offering first party data on people who actually shop for or are actively shopping for gluten-free products. You can't get more solid than that for targeting a niche audience.

From a buyers perspective I greatly prefer integrating a PMP into my DSP vs. having to learn the nuances of a bunch of different platforms. For that reason the Kroger announcement is exciting.

I expect we will be seeing a lot more PMP announcements in the near future - Costco, Publix, Home Depot, Lowes, Best Buy, Aldi.... any guess who is next?

- Lauren

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